Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Raising Arizona
Productgroup: DVD
Raising Arizona - movie DVD cover picture

I've seen this movie so many times, and still I laugh hysterically every time. John Goodman is comic genious in this one, Nicolas Cage plays white trash even better than he plays a drunk, and that biker guy, well, its a combo that gives competition to the reddest of red necks.
But, what makes this movie so great is the music. The sounds of the banjo and the yodilelee (sp?) are just perfect.
I own Raising Arizona, and yet every time it is on Comedy Central, I find myself watching it anyhow. Just hilarious.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Nicolas Cage
Holly Hunter

DVD title: The Perfect Storm (Deluxe Collector Set)
Productgroup: DVD
The Perfect Storm (Deluxe Collector Set) - movie DVD cover picture

I give this movie five stars for five reasons. First of all, and most notable, the effects. The CG waves generate the intensity in this film, and it is more intense than any other movie in which the main conflict is man vs. nature. The last half of this film is just as intense as the beginning of Saving Private Ryan. Secondly, the effects do not overshadow the storyline, due in part to very strong performances by George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and a bonus mention for John Reilly. Third, the movie portrays a strong aspect in human nature that man strives for survival, no matter how futile a situation may seem. Fourth, the storyline follows a little bit like the Deerhunter, in which we get to know the characters and their backgrounds a little bit before the action takes place. Lastly, the fifth star comes because this story was true. I needn't say any more

Studio: Creative Design Art Inc.
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
George Clooney
Mark Wahlberg

DVD title: Ice Age (2-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ice Age (2-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic Funny

From Ray Ramanos voice as the sarcastic mammoth,to the cute and weird and hapless sloth to the squirrel obsessed with a nut and willing to go through anything to get it home again,this movie is extremely,incredibly cute and hilarious.Great for the whole family!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
John Leguizamo
Denis Leary

DVD title: Lost - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Lost - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Enjoy it now, this is probably its peak

This is a superb first season, but the show is a continuing mystery/thriller. Unless the producers and the network decides to establish a finite lifespan for this series, things can only stall out from here. For the successful mystery/thrillers that came before it, there are two paths to mediocrity: the "X-Files" approach of leaving the continuing story arc unresolved until the audience drifts from the show or the "Twin Peaks" approach of finishing the primary arc and the subsequent story being so weak that interest wanes. One could argue that two successful mystery/thrillers, "24" and "Buffy", avoided these pitfalls, but these series have less restrictive concepts than "Lost" or "Twin Peaks", and their creators wisely structured those shows so that a complete story arc is told in a season and the next season becomes a new adventure. There is no obvious way that "Lost" can do that. This doesn't mean that I haven't loved "Lost" thus far, but the creators just need to plan a true resolution.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Matthew Fox

DVD title: Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent, underwatched show with smart writing, great cast

"Veronica Mars" is a lot smarter than your average show featuring attractive teenage characters. To use the term "teen drama" is misleading, as the story is darker, subtler and more sophisticated than other shows like "The O.C." and "Dawson's Creek." It's a modern twist on the noir genre placed in high school, centering around 17-year-old Veronica, once popular but now a social outcast after a chain of events following the murder of her best friend, Lilly Kane.

In every episode, Veronica, a P.I.'s daughter, solves a smaller mystery, while also assembling clues and delving further into the bigger mystery of Lilly's case. The brilliance of the show is in tying the small cases into the larger, overarching themes surrounding the larger mystery. While there are a few episodes that feel more stand-alone, as is the case in all TV drama series, the writers do an excellent job in avoiding letting them become mere filler, throwaway cases -- instead, they use them to feed us more information to further Lilly's case. (As a result, it's hard to skip any episodes without missing some crucial bit of information about the main msytery.)

It's amazing how carefully drawn the entire season is, with clues placed in a meticulously careful, controlled manner, all amping up to an intense crescendo in the last four or five episodes. As the season draws to a close, the intricately laid details click into place as Veronica solves the two biggest cases -- the mystery of her rape (which occurred shortly following Lilly's death and her subsequent ejection from the "cool" crowd) in the penultimate episode (a wonderfully complex, dark and emotional episode), then Lilly's murder in the season finale.

Despite the darkness of the series, there are notable lighter moments too, and the show has quite a bit of humor thrown into the mix. The writing is witty and smart, and the actors pull off comedy just as capably as they do angst and drama. The cast is excellent, and the actors have noticeable chemistry with one another, but two standouts are Kristen Bell as Veronica and Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls (who has an amazingly complex character arc that is drastic, enthralling and utterly believable). As Veronica's former friend, nemesis, then reluctant ally (and the lines blur frequently), Dohring steals every scene he's in, and when he's with Bell the sparks really fly, whether they're pushing each other's buttons, antagonizing each other or simply bantering.

Man, I love this show. Thank goodness UPN had the guts to renew it for a second season.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Kristen Bell

DVD title: Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration
Productgroup: DVD
Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration - movie DVD cover picture
A Genuine Treasure To Be Enjoyed Over and Over Again!

The production flows flawlessly and features some of the best talent in the industry. Andrew Lloyd Webber's music is showcased before a live, very appreciative audience (which sadly, I wasn't part of). Antonio Banderas is surprisingly good, Michael Ball is breath-taking, Tina Arena belts out 'Whistle Down The Wind' from her toes, Glenn Close is pure gold, Sarah Brightman reaches notes so far off the scale my windows rattled, and it was worth it to hear the most beautiful voice God created, Kiri Te Kanawa. I came to to buy more, more, more! I'm going to buy a 2nd ALW 50th to keep as a spare since I'm sure to wear out the 1st in short order.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Mallet

DVD title: Ronin
Productgroup: DVD
Ronin - movie DVD cover picture
Ronin = Best Action Movie- Brings it to the Next Level...

I saw this one in the theater as a grudging after-thought. Geez...little did I know this TAKES the cake as THE BEST ALL-TIME ACTION movie since DIE-HARD broke the genre way back when. True fans will realize that Ronin truly just raised the notch for the 90's!! Oh yeah, can I have an AUDI?

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John Frankenheimer
Robert De Niro
Jean Reno
Natascha McElhone

DVD title: Robin Williams - Live on Broadway
Productgroup: DVD
Robin Williams - Live on Broadway - movie DVD cover picture

I have seen this more than 5 times, and I still almost cry everytime I watch it.

Studio: Sony Music Entertain
Director: Marty Callner
Robin Williams

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Far Superior Edition of an already Superior movie

What else is there to say?A treasure wrapped up in a little box.I so enjoyed this DVD better then the movie that my brother and I still talk about it!Add this DVD to your collection you will not be disappointed.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Evil Dead II
Productgroup: DVD
Evil Dead II - movie DVD cover picture
Best Movie Hero Since Indiana Jones

Evil Dead 2 is not just another low budget horror movie. It is a singular experience. There is no other movie like it. If it were not for Peter Jackson's Dead Alive, a very different movie of the same genre, I would say that it is, by far, the best horror/comedy ever made. I hate saying horror/comedy, but I guess it fits.
The story is simple: Ashe and his girlfriend Linda take a trip out to, what he has assessed To be an abandoned cottage in the woods. After a little cagey chit chat, Ashe discovers a tape recorder and decides to play the tape. On the tape are ancient incantations from the "Sumerian Book of the Dead" that, once again, awaken a demon inhabiting the very woods surrounding them. The demon possesses Linda and the fun is underway. The movie never lets up from here on out.
The production is amazing. One of the best aspects of the movie is the combined use of sound effects, cinematography, and editing in such a way that they compliment each other and become, in effect, one effect (excuse the silly redundancy.) The jarring sounds, mixed with the equally jarring angles and lens usage, together with the tight editing makes for a movie that moves along like wildfire. Add to this the impossibly charismatic character of Ashe, portrayed perfectly by Bruce Campbell (I swear he was born specifically to make this movie) and you have the best movie of the genre, and, come to think of it, the best movie Sam Raimi has ever made.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Sam Raimi
Bruce Campbell
Sarah Berry

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